The world of dating can be a tough and intimidating one, especially if you’re the kind of person who tends to overthink every. single. thing. Do you stress about being late? Keep to-do lists for days? Or agonize for hours over the last text you sent? If this sounds like you, then you might want to take a look at your romantic life to see if you’re overthinking things there too. Because the truth is that overthinking and dating are not a good mix, and dissecting every little thing about a relationship can really do some damage to your chances of being with someone amazing.
Not sure if you’re overthinking things or not? Here are the seven ways obsessing over your love life can kill your dating game.
1. You worry too much.
Being a chronic over-thinker means you’re always coming up with ‘what if’ scenarios. This means that you’re mentally dealing with consequences for things that haven’t happened yet and may never happen at all. When it comes to dating, these types of scenarios are pretty common. (What if she hates my dog? What if he’s not ready to be exclusive?) But overthinking every step of a relationship can lead to it stalling rather than moving forward in a natural way.
2. You can’t find the joy in dating.
Overthinking consumes all of your thought processes and your mental energy, and can often mean you’re not finding any joy in the present moment. If you’re too busy thinking about what may or may not happen in the future, you’re not enjoying the now. Not being able to find joy in the current state of your relationship can have a negative impact on your partner too. Don’t forget to enjoy the moment you’re in, the rest will come later.
3. It can make you seem stupid.
People who overthink tend to rehearse situations and scenarios in their head a hundred times before they actually happen. This can be awkward or embarrassing on a date if the conversation doesn’t go in the direction that you planned and you end up lost for words with nothing to say. To avoid looking silly in these situations, you need to try to be as spontaneous as possible. Don’t limit yourself to only being confident under a certain set of circumstances. Let yourself be natural and the conversation will flow.
4. It makes everything harder.
For an over-thinker, life can become unnecessarily difficult because you’re always reacting negatively to situations and occasions that don’t necessarily match up with your preconceived expectations. In other words, by overthinking so much and coming to conclusions in your head before they’ve played out in reality, you’re constantly setting yourself up for disappointment and anxiety. This is especially detrimental in the dating world where it’s not only your thought process that counts but also your partner’s.
5. It creates problems that don’t really exist.
Your tendency to overthink means that if your partner does something even slightly outside of your personal expectations, a problem is created that probably shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. This can be a hard atmosphere for both of you to live in. The person you’re with is never going to know whether something he or she says or does will end up causing an argument. And you’ll find yourself looking for your partner to mess up or fall short of your expectations, instead of just enjoying your time together.
6. It creates false conclusions.
Not only does overthinking create false problems in a relationship, it can also create false conclusions. If you’re doing all of the worrying and arguing in your own head, then you’re more likely to come to a conclusion that has very little to do with what’s really going on with your partner. Jumping to conclusions is a classic consequence of overthinking. This can be a fatal flaw in a relationship where your partner becomes sick and tired of being misunderstood or ignored altogether in favor of your own thoughts.
“It takes work to be present and thankful in your relationship,” says dating expert Nikki Martinez. “But it will be well worth it. You need to make sure that your partner knows how important they are to you, and that they are at the top of your life for all things that matter.”
Overall, you can see how overthinking can have a damaging impact on your dating life and relationships. Instead of overthinking, work on overcoming it, talk to the person you’re with, or go to your friends for counsel.
A top tip to stop overthinking by Elizabeth Stone is to “Cultivate artful distractions. Staying involved in your hobbies and interests even when things are going great with someone new is a really good way to avoid overthinking. Distractions also help you practice staying in the present moment, which helps a great deal.”